A Pakistani’s Guide To How Bangladesi Students Are Being Assaulted By Their Own Government For Demanding Road Safety

By Rameeza Ahmad | 6 Aug, 2018

Bangladeshi students are being brutally treated by their own country’s government after protests were clamped down on. Media’s being banned and the cellphone services are shut down so the news doesn’t reach out but the internet just showed its power in a an amazing way.

 

Over the course of the last week, there has been a lot of bad news coming out of Bangladesh.

But surprisingly their own media was very quiet about the issue. The news broke out because of the internet and it was because of the internet, that action was taken regarding it.

The entire incident was sparked because of the deaths of two children after a bus rammed into a bus stop. Students across the entire country banded together to demand better road safety conditions. They protested and immobilized parts of the capital, Dhaka to make sure traffic laws are obeyed and implemented. Because the students were tired of the deaths and injuries which are a regular feature because of poor traffic laws.

 

Students collecting together and then setting up checkpoints on roads to check licenses and registration forms apparently embarrassed the government and its officials.

The Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan was dismissive of the protests stating that 30 people died in India in the past because of bad traffic laws but Indians were not making as much of a fuss as Bangladeshis. Khan also happens to be the head of a transportation lobby and thus stricter traffic laws are not something he might be in favor of.

bengal-protests-1
Source: @AlfonsoLabrague / Twitter

Protests were mainly non-violent until things escalated quite a bit on Saturday and a lot of violence ensued At first, it was only school students protesting but after a pro-government student union joined the police to help disperse protesters, other university students join in on the protests against the government and police.

 

And that’s when things turned dark.

Student protestors were attacked by the pro-government student union members as well as the police. Tear gas was used and batons were charged. Basically, a lot of students were injured because of the assaults and university campuses turned into war zones.

The media did not give the event much coverage which lead to students using the internet to spread the word. And word spread like wildfire. People from around the world started to tweet under the hashtag #WeWantJustice and international media outlets started to pick the stories up.

 

One of the most interesting things was how people from the K-POP fandom rallied together on social media to get the word out.

However, in all the hubbub, some rumors started spreading which included rumors that some students protestors had been murdered, raped and detained by government workers.

According to the New York Times, when student protesters stormed the government offices, they found no evidence of any such activities which lead them to publicly acknowledge and take back the accusations they had made. Over the weekend, the mobile internet speeds across Bangladesh was very low which lead to people thinking it was a deliberate attempt by the government to curb free speech. However, the telecommunications minister promised it was because of technical difficulties and not deliberate. But he did comment on how it might have saved everyone from escalating violence because of false news spreading further.

After mainly ignoring the matter, the Home Minister for Bangladesh, Asaduzzaman Khan stated that he applauded the polices’ patience but warned student protestors that serious action would be taken if they ‘crossed the limit’.

The protests are still going on and the students have vowed to make sure they keep them up till justice is served. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

 

Teachers Across Pakistani Universities Are Protesting Against Suppression Of Critical Thinking And Free Speech

 

 

 

Teefa In Trouble Protesters In Karachi Were Allegedly Beaten Up By Rangers And Pakistanis Are Furious

 

 


Cover Image Source: @doyoungsfilm/@alfonsolabrague via twitter.com

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